Archive

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Presenting The Zeitgeist Politics!

June 16, 2009 Leave a comment

I’ve decided to start a blog dedicated to global politics with a focus on The Middle East

Titled: The Zeitgeist Politics

URL: zeitgeistpolitics.wordpress.com

Please head over there for all that political analysis you crave!

This will henceforth be my personal blog for all non-political endeavours ūüôā

Advertisement
Categories: Uncategorized

Amazonfail

April 13, 2009 Leave a comment

This has been reported by several blogs and it’s all over twitter, Amazon has decided to remove “adult” content from it’s rankings, unfortunately this “adult” content more or less includes everything and anything to do with homosexuality and LGBT fiction and non-fiction. Wtf? From the LA Times book blog Jacket Copy:

“American Psycho” is Bret Easton Ellis’ story of a sadistic murderer. “Unfriendly Fire” is a well-reviewed empirical analysis of military policy. But it’s “Unfriendly Fire” that does not have a sales rank — which means it would not show up in Amazon’s bestseller lists, even if it sold more copies than the “Twilight” series. In some cases, being de-ranked also means being removed from Amazon’s search results.

I’ve read American Psycho and I can tell you now that there’s a pretty good reason why the book is sold in Borders covered in shrink-wrap. ¬†Explain to me why a book sub-titled as “Why the gay ban undermines the military and weakens America” should be lumped in the same category? It’s ridiculous, this is not adult fiction, it is a blatant attack on homosexuals in America, worlwide and on the internets.

Since then the hashtag #amazonfail has risen to number one on Twitter (in the space of an hour, reportedly, this is why I love Twitter). Twitterer @duncanriley reported that the¬†top Amazon search result for homosexuality is “A Parents Guide to Preventing Homosexuality” and that’s by “relevance” search. Wtf?

Amazon must be destroyed. Yet another reason for Melburnians to buy books at Readings. Boycott Amazon, support your local bookstore, they can order books in for you anyways.

UPDATE: (Thanks Jacket Copy):

As the Amazonfail fiasco continues to grow online and people continue to question wtf is going on, Amazon has no decided that it was a “glitch”. Um. Yeah right. Jacket Copy:

Responding to our initial post, Amazon Director of Corporate Communications Patty Smith e-mailed Jacket Copy. “There was a glitch with our sales rank feature that is in the process of being fixed,” she wrote. “We’re working to correct the problem as quickly as possible.”

We wanted to know more. We asked for further explanation of the glitch, which has removed the rankings of gay-themed books such as Paul Monette’s “Becoming A Man,” Virginia Woolf’s “Orlando,” and others.

And I asked Patty Smith this:

From a layperson’s perspective, this glitch does seem to have affected certain types of books more heavily than others. In fact, only one of the top 10 books in your Gay & Lesbian section continues to have a sales ranking (the Kindle version of “The Picture of Dorian Gray”). No other section is similarly affected. Can you comment on that?

The reply:

Unfortunately, I’m not able to comment further.¬† We’re working to resolve the issue, but I don’t have any further information.
I smell panic & bullshit.

If the World was a Village of 100 people

April 12, 2009 Leave a comment

Many AIESECers would have seen powerpoints and cool vids depicting global demographic data framed under the concept of if the world was a village of 100 people, what would it look like. Toby Ng Design has taken these statistics and converted them to really interesting, simple but beautifully designed pictures. Check these out, and if you haven’t seem them before, they do make you think.

It’s interesting to see that Christians are still the dominant religion, I would’ve thought Islam would probably be more dominant by now but I guess if you lump together Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox, etc then you’d have a sizeable amount. What I find misleading is the Atheists/Others category, I mean that includes Jews, Zoroastrians, Baha’is, Jains, Sikhs and many other fairly prominent religions, so how many atheists are there really in the world?

 

 

This is another interesting one. 6% of the world’s population apparently control 59% of the world’s wealth and they’re all from the States? Again considering how many billionaires there are in non-US countries these days, that is somewhat surprising (Carlos Slim anyone?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also I find the language one interesting, unsurprisingly Chinese rules the roost but by that much? Damn. And Hindi second at 8%? Russian scored pretty highly up there as well. I would’ve guessed differently but I guess demographic statistics for this kind of thing are pretty hard to agree upon.

 

I’m not sure what the source for the stats are but I’ve definitely seen them before, either way I think the design is really cool and check his website for more of it.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,

Boxed Water is better for the Earth

March 28, 2009 5 comments

Another interesting new design project popped into my feed this afternoon thanks to Design Rehab. Boxed Water!

The basic premise behind the product is fairly simple, boxed water is more enviromentally friendly than bottled water, not only because of the materials used but because of the shipping methods, a bit more information from the website here:

About 90% of the Boxed Water container is made from a renewable resource, trees, that when harvested in a responsible, managed, and ethical way serve as an amazing renewable resource that benefits the environment even as it’s renewed. Our carbon footprint is dramatically lower as our boxes are shipped flat to our filler and filled only as demand is created, opposed to most bottled water companies that ship their empty bottles across the globe to be filled, then shipped back for consumption.¬†

I think it’s a cool idea and the design of the “boxes” is also pretty cool, quite minimalist but interesting nonetheless. Available in the US only at this stage but let’s hope it’ll be hitting our shores soon, I’m fairly sure they won’t have any difficulty finding distribution in Australia, people here are all about cool bottled (or in this cased boxed) water products and considering how bad bottled water is for the environment… it’d be a refreshing change from that particular status quo.

Sandstorms in the Khaleej

March 11, 2009 2 comments

Some great photos from Riyadh, thanks to the Guardian popped up in my reader feed of the sandstorms in the Gulf. They look a little more hardcore than the ones I was used to in Bahrain but reminded me of those many times when walking from the car to the apartment was hazardous for your contact lenses and usually involved repeatedly being lashed by hot grains of sand tot he face… and stepping out to your car in the morning, only washed the day before, and seeing it covered in brown sand. There’s also the fact that cars have to be washed and apartments dusted on almost a daily basis because these particles just come from nowhere and get in everywhere… all the time.¬†

Americans can be funny

February 12, 2009 3 comments

So I’m in the De Markten cafe, one of my favourite cafes in Brussels which I frequent very often and this place gets quite a few foreigners.

In fact I myself have travelled a fair bit and seen my fair share of tourists/travellers/foreigners from various nations, and overall, Americans definitely stand out for the most foot-in-mouth moments or general faux pas.

For instance right here next to me in, two young (late 20s) male seppos just sat down so I knew I’d be good for about an hour of entertainment. First little tidbit:

Yank 1: i’ll have a Stella Art-wah (in a very pronounced chic French accent, hey buddy we just call em Stella)
Yank 2: i’ll have one of those Hyundais [sic]
Waiter: a what?
Yank 2: it’s there at the top of the drinks list
Waiter: Oh… Bionade

Tidbit 2
Yank 2: Hey what’s that croh-kay (sic)? It looks really big!
Waiter: Yeah that’s the croque madame
Yank 2: OK, I’ll have a croh-kay mah-daaaaaaaaam (sic)

Well at least you gotta hand it to ’em for trying.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , , ,

Is Bombay the new Tokyo?

January 17, 2009 4 comments

It feels like with all of this Slumdog Millionaire business dominating the papers and my google reader (perhaps this is more a reflection on the sort of feeds I subscribe to) that the film, its cast, its Golden Globe statues and everything to do with it are everywhere right now. There are also billboards, posters, etc (phew it’s not just me). Seems like a marketer’s wet dream really and why not? The film is obviously very different to the usual Hollywood fare. For starters, it’s made by a Scot, Danny Boyle, and although Danny (from Trainspotting, Shaun of the Dead fame), is certainly not an unknown in Hollywood/movie circles, he is no Spielberg. Neither are the film’s leads Dev Patel and Freida Pinto, Brad and Angelina… neither is AR Rahman John Williams (though arguably he could and should be).

And along with all of this reporting going on about Slumdog, the inevitable reporting about Bombay follows. We’ve been hearing all this talk about how Mumbai is Maximum City and how it’s so amazing and wonderful (y’all know I don’t disagree). The question I want to ask now is… is Bombay the new Tokyo? I remember back in the day (well I don’t really remember but I’m pretty sure this is how it sorta went down) when Orientalist Westerners developed a keen interest in Asia, Tokyo was the hip and happening place to go to, discover and revel in the exoticism of it all (like zomg wow check it out manz they are so different and they eat with sticks!) so now that Slumdog is everywhere and an entire generation of moviegoers is going to prepare to dive headlong into the slums of Bombay in search of love and excitement (I’m seeing slum package tours organised by Intrepid, God)… perhaps Bombay will be the new Tokyo. I do love Bombay but if they make a film starring Bill Murray going to Bombay and getting freaked out by chaiwallas and rickshaws I may have to vomit.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,

Would you defriend 10 FB friends for a free Whopper?

January 12, 2009 6 comments

 

Although companies using social media to promote their products is really nothing new and, of course, Facebook is the pinnacle of social media these days so third-party apps from every company and their dog have really taken off… but this is something new.

Burger King in the States has a new application where you get the choice to defriend 10 of your friends and get a free Whopper in return. Interested? Think you can get away with a silent and cowardly defriending without your former friends knowing? Not so. The app actually makes sure¬†they find out by sending them a nice little message informing them of the choice you’ve made.

I’m pretty hungry right now and looking at these whopper pics isn’t doing my conscience any good, I should probably go offline before I do something stupid…

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,

A New Blog

January 12, 2009 7 comments

The time has come and with 2009 I have decided to get myself a new online home. 

lx.nomadlife.org was awesome, I had some great times there and I especially enjoyed being part of the nomadlife community but the time always comes for something different,

I’d been wondering about blogger vs. wordpress for some time now, it seemed like every blogger worth their salt is on wordpress these days, so I finally decided to make the switch. I am purposefully not migrating my content from the old blog to this one because I want a totally fresh start.

I want to take my blogging more seriously these days. Some of the things you can expect from this blog are:

– reviews of things like movies, books and maybe music

– my travels, I’m making a much bigger effort to document my travels

– commentary on current affairs, news, events, arts and fashion.

– my thoughts on random things or whatever comes to mind

and the reason why the blog is called “The Zeitgeist” is because one thing i’m interested in is the way trends are formed and played, the sort of things that are “in” or “out” at a particular time, how these things vary from country to country, city to city, what sort of things people are talking about both on and offline and generally the things that I see as definitive for our times, so you can look forward to a lot of points on that subject also.

So please susbcribe to this blog on your readers, bookmark it, change the link on your blogroll (and let me know so I can add you to mine) and all the other stuff that goes with blog migration.

Cheers,

Alex

Categories: Uncategorized